Returning player Bardbear recently wrote the following guide. (Any formatting errors are Mum's, as she hand-converted this over from a word document and grabbed appropriate links.)
I came back to EQ in November of 2014 after a many year absence. So much had changed, and I'm still learning and re-learning new mechanics. I chose to focus on tradeskills to start, as I had had a tailor/monk at 80/80, the old cap, and I would use him to explore the new content as an adventurer and crafter.
I quickly got him to 100 tailoring, thanks to the wonderful guides at EQTraders, so I decided to try something bonkers: get eight other characters to 100 in each of the other eight crafting fields. Here's the outline of how I did this.
NOTE: the vast majority of this was done solo and guildless, so this can be done by the unguilded or those in a very small guild that does not have amenities.
I cannot emphasize enough: GET THE SALIRAPTOR at level 30. There are two quests in Butcherblock, at the camp above the docks, one for adventurers and one for crafters. Neither is difficult and having the "jumpy" mount will make the rest of this journey so much easier.
A personal harvesting depot: if you don't have a guild, and you are trying to level more than one crafter, this is a god-send. It can be expensive, and bank space can be used instead.
A crafter with the harvesting pony and/or harvesting goblin. Neither is required, but both free up time that would be used for harvesting.
Hammer of Adept hands: once per (real world) week this item totally refills your crafter rest experience bonus. Available as the 6 year veteran reward. However, it is also available from loyalty rewards (under consumables, but it is not consumed when used) - it takes 10 loyalty tokens to purchase. You get the loyalty quest once per day when you log in, it has a mix of adventurer, pvp, and tradeskill goals. Completing any two of the goals rewards one token (two tokens if you are a subscriber).
I leveled up mainly through questing. I generally only had to craft about 3 to 5 levels of writs before I transitioned to the next set of quests. This saved raw materials and fuel prices, but I didn't earn as much status this way.
NOTE: picking your area of interest at level 9 auto levels you to 10, so you can/should do that as soon as you hit level 9. :D
10: start the Shipwrecked quest line with Raffik (it can be started as soon as level 5, but you might as well finish the tutorial first)
15: Do the aiding/sabotaging Halas crafting line in New Halas. (This quest can be started as early as level 10) You may need to do a few writs (available starting at level 15) to get to level 19.
15: Journey to Qeynos (good) or Freeport (evil) to get your apprentice. The sooner you start working with him/her, the sooner you can unlock the recipes. This also can be done as soon as you hit level 10.
19: Pick your specialization with a tradeskill trainer of your alignment (doesn't have to be in your home city). Doing this auto levels you to 20, so do it as soon as you hit level 19 to save grinding through the level! :D
20: Raffik's next quest
20: Start the first crafting quest line in Butcherblock.
20: Home city tradeskill quest: starts with the Journeyman line. One quest available every 10 levels from 20 to level 60. NOTE: You don't have to do this in your home city, you can talk with the trainer in any city of your alignment. I HATE Neriak, but I have a crafter there for faction, I did all my tradeskill questing out of Gorowyn - you still get faction with your home city tradeguild.
30: Saliraptor quest
30: Steamfont crafter quest - Using your raptor lets you avoid a lot of agro in Steamfont, if your crafter is not also an adventurer.
30: Home City tradeskill quest - gathering the lumber in Enchanted lands is super easy, only a couple of agro wasps to watch for. Gathering the lumber in Zek can be much more difficult, but using the in zone horse (left outside the fort) and riding to Refuge station, then backtracking to spirit lake you can find wood that may be safe to harvest, just have to watch for asps and the occasional orc patrol. Alternately, you can use your raptor to ridge run: jump on one of the many stone ridges in the zone and follow them - it is agro free travel, as long as you land well.
40: Sootfoot quest: Again, ridge running with the raptor makes this much easier. Also, the December 2014 changes to harvesting mean you get the required forages MUCH faster.
40: Home City trade skill quest: Again, travel is so much easier with dock bells in almost every zone and Saliraptor for traveling in the zone.
50: Mara quests: the satchel is no longer a must have pack, there are cheap 40+ slot general purpose packs on the broker, if you are able to access the broker. Also, the loyalty tokens can be used to purchase bags as well. The charm is a nice item, and the quest experience is nice as well, so I did Mara on all 9 of my crafters.
50: Home city tradeskill quest: oh the pain you will inflict! I always feel so bad after doing this quest. Running around is required, as you can't premake the items. I went back and forth from the NPC to the Sinking Sands docks (three jumps on the saliraptor) and then used the dock bell to Mara - fuel and all crafting stations are available on Mara. Then use the bell back to Sinking Sands, and raptor hop back to the NPC.
NOTE: there is no quest source for the level 50 advanced books. But, if you are an adventurer, you can grind faction with one of the three courts in Maj Dul and buy heirloom versions of all the 50 advanced books and recipes.
60: Home City tradeskill quests: I did this and immediately afterwards did the crafter glider mount quest - the transport to the other islands is right behind the froglock area on the first isle.
60: Glider mount quest: same general zone as the 60 home city tradeskill quests, I do them together. I personally find the gliding mount difficult to use, but I like the quest line and the experience is very nice - at least one level of crafting experience for doing the entire quest line. I just kept my saliraptor until 85, when I could fly.
(65: Sokokar) - I wait till, 70, see below for why.
70: Kunark. Wow, it gets a bit tougher here, but I ran 7 level 10 adventurers/level 70 crafters through here with only a few deaths (all harvesting and/or shiny related) total.
I wait till 70 to do the sokokar quest because you can save quite a bit of running around if you do these back to back. Run through the sokokar quest as outlined in the link above. When you get to the step of going to Teren's Grasp you have two travel choices, you can run up one of the two ramps and dodge very agro yetis, or you can take the dock bell to the Enchanted Lands (or any other zone with wizard spires) and use the wizard spires to travel right to where you need to go for the final step of the sokokar quest. But wait! Before you turn in the sokokar quest, hop up the stairs to the high set of buildings. The quest giver for "New Lands, New Profits" is right there. Get his quest. Then go back to the NPC for the sokokar quest and accept his teleport. After your turn in the sokokar quest in Kunzar's Edge, hop over to the sokokar post and fly from there to the Fens of Nathsar post. Walk till you get the explore goal for the first part of "New Lands..." then zone into the Fens. I do it this way to save flight time - the trip from Kunzar's Edge to the Fens is much shorter than the trip from the Teren's Grasp to the Fens. You don't actually need raw materials for this quest, it is all running around. There is a map on EQTraders, but I found a path that works better for me:
Following the ridge from Sathir's Span eastward and stopping at the second and third stashes is much safer and easier. Using the saliraptor makes it super-easy. For the fourth cache, just cross the little bridge and follow the ridge on the over side of the river chasm back westward till you get to the Western pens, then hop for your life through the swamp till you get near the brute area. From there, there are smaller ridges that you can hop till you get to the fourth cache.
75: "High Risks, higher profits" - Same general thing, again the saliraptor makes travel safer/easier.
NOTE on faction grinding: 10 of the Bathezid crafting dailies will give enough faction to unlock the Earring of the Solstice questline. That is the slow cheap way. One can grind writs, costing fuel and harvests, to do this much faster. It comes down to what is more important: time or resources.
80: Sentinel's Fate: Yet again, saliraptor makes travels much simpler. To get to Sundered Frontier, using the spires, I prefer enchanted lands, since there is little to no agro between the docks and the spires there. "Safe" harvesting areas: roots and shrubs near the druid portal, just have to keep an eye on a couple of cats. Ores and dens: in the battleground area where the Ancient Hua Mein Spirit sends you - all the mobs are non-agro except a small group near the center of the battlefield. Fish: on Kerra Isle, in the Queen's area. Wood: near the flight platform on Kerra Isle. Totally safe to harvest there, also few rare spawns of roots in this area as well.
For the adventurous, when doing the Kerra quests, you can shave a bit of the travel time by jumping off the disk as it passes over Spire Isle, and using the teleporter there to get to Paineel for crafting. Shaves about two minutes off the trip.
NOTE: if leveling more than one crafter, you only need to faction with one of them if desired - the faction recipes are heirloom and can be shared between alts on the same account.
85: Shadows of the Betrayed Since the reward is level 85, and there is a time delay for the quest starter email after completing the Quel'ule part of the Sundered Frontier questline, you'll likely be around level 85 when you tackle this anyway. Note that for the step requiring the Emergency Portal Repair crafting instance from Mara, the quests are cycling every hour and a half now (not daily), so if the right Mara mission isn't being offered, decline and ask again later.
85: Velious - You can juggle some of the quests to save trips. Like saving testing Boomba until you get Agni's quest to go the same area with a cannon. For a non-subscriber, doing the gryphon quest is still a great way to get a flyer - and you need to do it to get your crystalline spiderling silks unlocked - but subscribers probably have enough loyalty tokens by this point to buy one of the 25 token flying disks.
90: Withered Lands crafting series. This will get essentials/advanced books for all crafting classes for levels 91 and 92. Beware of rain falling around you, as it means the dragon is nearby in the sky, and she will knock you out of the sky if you try to fly when she is overhead. These quests can be done at level 85, but you won't be able to scribe the books until you hit 90.
90: Cobalt Scar Crafting series a long batch of quests to obtain the Hand of the Maker
93: ToV crafting series. Begins with mail from Captain Ethan Darani for A Captain's Lament. From there, progress to Fond Memories, A Harrowing Tale, The Essentials of Battle, The Smell of Home, Captain Overboard?, and Construct Deconstruction. You will then have unlocked all the Cardin Ward dailies and Vesspyr weeklies, though if you are 95, you may just wish to progress to the AoM crafting series.
95: AoM Crafting series. Completion of the 19 Tranquil/Phantom Sea quests will grant you the Mark of the Far Seas ring. Completion of the 5 remaining quests originating out of Qeynos/Freeport will grant you an achievement, and will unlock the ability to fly around Malvonicus' Tower. (Flight unlock coming in a patch "soon".)
97+: AoM Crafting dailies and weeklies. These now take into account vitality and all crafting xp bonuses on hand-in, which can be a solid chunk of xp. Be sure to load up on your tradeskill xp goodies before you do a hand in!
100: Raffik One hour after you finish the level 100 Raffik quest, you can also return to the Mara docks to hire him as a fury mercenary!